Black Stars skipper Asamoah Gyan finally hit 50 goals in the Ghana colours in last Sunday’s 5-0 drubbing of Ethiopia in the 2019 Afcon qualifiers.
After already attaining the accolade as the country’s all-time top scorer, Gyan now becomes the fifth member of an elite group of players to achieve the feat on the African continent.
He joins the likes of Zambian legend Godfrey Ucar Chitalu, Hossam Hassan (Egypt), Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) and Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o Fils.
Gyan made his debut for Ghana in November 2003 and scored after coming off the bench against Somalia at the Accra Sports Stadium. Coincidentally, the game ended 5-0 just like on the day he reached 50 but this time in Kumasi.
Starrsportsgh.com’s Benjamin Yamoah caught up with the 31-year-old striker at the Black Stars hotel in the ensuing conversation:
50 goals in the national colours. That must be special for you…
Gyan: Great feeling. It is a great feeling to have scored 50 goals for my country. I feel very proud representing my country and I feel proud of myself for the achievements. I’m still young, kicking and ready to go.
Secondly, I would like to thank all my colleagues that I started with in the national team. They’ve really played very important roles in my Black Stars career. It’s amazing – they were a lot of players that I’ve played with at the Black Stars since 2003. I would like to thank everybody from day one to now.
Did you envisage coming this far with the Black Stars?
Gyan: Honestly, no. because I’m not God and didn’t know the future but I had the confidence in me. I’m always confident in everything I do till now. That’s what has kept on pushing me… I’m strong mentally and I’m focused in everything I do. In life, there are ups and downs but I try to focus and that has brought me that far.
Only four players had scored 50 goals for their nations in Africa before you. Joining this special class, do you think this places you above your compatriots over the years?
Gyan: Giggles. For me, the numbers say it all. I don’t need to blow my own horns. The statistics that I have done for the national team [is clear]. I have nothing to say; it is left with the people to judge it. and me joining these legends – talking about Drogba, Hossam Hassan, Eto’o Fils as you said, I feel blessed and really thank God for what he has been doing for me so far.
From your debut goal against Somalia through to the ones at the World Cup and your number 50, any one or two that stands out for you eternally?
Gyan: Eerm, I will say my first goal for the national team. Although I’ve scored a lot of amazing and important goals for the national team, I always remember my first goal in 2003 against Somalia. That was my debut goal for my Black Stars career. I will never forget that day – I came on as a sub, got a goal and we won by five goals to nil just like today [Sunday, June 11, 2017 vs Ethiopia]. It’s a day I will never forget.
How about the debut goal at the World Cup?
Gyan: I know. Smiles. The Somalia goal was the beginning of my Black Stars career. You know I scored my first goal in my first game… We won 5-0 and on my 50th goal, we won five again, I will say my first goal [remains] special for me.
Okay Gyan. Thanks for your time and congratulations on your feat
Gyan: Thank you too.